Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Demonland

OVERPOWERED by George on the Outer

Recommended Posts

If there was ever a prime example of a team of players not ready for the new football season it was Melbourne in the opening round of 2019.  

Throughout the field there was just too much evidence of players who haven’t had sufficient pre-season or players who ordinarily wouldn’t have even graced the field at this early stage.  

The Demons also got a lesson on selection with Port Adelaide showing that two ruckmen on the field is an essential for this season.  It was a lesson that should have been obvious to the Melbourne coaching panel were they to have reviewed the Preliminary Final disaster, not to work out what went wrong, but rather what West Coast did right.  Then in the Grand Final a week later, two ruckmen overpowered a solitary Heath Grundy.  

With Scott Lycett and Patrick Ryder playing on the ground and tag-teaming Max Gawn it was not surprising that they simply overpowered him and the Melbourne side.  The critical factor was not the ruck contests, but rather what they did when not rucking.  Resting Ryder or Lycett in the forward line instead of the bench meant the Demons had to commit Sam Frost or Oscar McDonald to them.  That left Westhoff free to take uncontested mark after mark. Five goals for the game resulted.  That was the score difference at the final bell!

And if further proof is needed for the two talls, check out what Hawthorn are doing with Ceglar and McEvoy on the ground, and they had only one week less break than us over the summer!

Meanwhile when Gawn was resting on the bench, the big forwards of Tom McDonald or Sam Weidemann had to double with ruck duties.  No small surprise that a single big man in front of the sticks resulted in very little scoring, including not a solitary point in the final quarter.

The other selection failures were simply too many small players without the necessary experience at AFL level.  Could we really expect a team including ANB, Hore, Sparrow, Spargo, Wagner, Fritsch, and Hunt to compete with taller opponents?  And should we really have selected Sparrow (although he acquitted himself reasonably well) to replace a 300 game general of the backline.  There may have not been many more experienced available, but a tall would have helped.

Sadly, apart from these failures, too many players were simply underdone.  Jack Viney with 10 possessions. Petracca with only 2 touches to half-time.  Jones putting in an absolute “mare” with kick and marking failures.  Even Clayton Oliver with (for him) only 10 handballs.  What do they all have in common ... interrupted pre-seasons, with Jones and Viney only returning to running in the past 4-6 weeks ... it showed!

Christian Salem held the defence admirably, and with 32 touches off half-back he excelled at every turn.  The pity is that a HBF shouldn’t be the major possession getter in the side. Angus Brayshaw held together the mids because he, at least, could get his hands on the ball, while Harmes helped out, but they were on their own.  

They performed OK in the middle, and in fact Melbourne won the centre square clearances easily.  But around the ground without any assistance, Port simply cut the Demons to pieces.  Rockliff with 44 touches but only 4 clearances from the middle, showed where the Power were gaining the advantage.

Port also used their footy smarts.  Kicking the ball long, especially with the fluky wind, almost guaranteed chaos entries into their forward line.  In contrast Melbourne tried to chip and seek out the better option all the time, and it failed.  With the wind playing havoc, the ball often came out the back to find Port players who stayed down in the contest.  Not so Melbourne who continued to fly in packs to no effect.  

Will it get any better next week?  Not if we continue doing the same thing at selection table.  The addition of Steven May will help in a big way down back, but we need to give Max a cut-out during the game.  1 ruck is not enough in 2019.

We can’t do much about the lack of fitness in too many players, that’s just the nature of post season surgery, but if they are not ready and primed, then they shouldn’t be selected.  

Facing Geelong so early in the season will be a problem, because all their old stagers will be reasonably fit at this time of the year.  Come year end (as we saw in last year’s Elimination Final) they just drop by the wayside.  

What will happen? Will we see a half-baked team again next week?  If we do, all the pre-season aspirations will be cooked ...

Melbourne 4.3.27 6.5.41 9.7.61 9.7.61             

Port Adelaide 2.4.16 6.8.44 10.9.69 12.15.87        

Goals

Melbourne Melksham 2 Brayshaw Fritsch Jones T.McDonald Petracca Sparrow Weideman  

Port Adelaide Westhoff 5 Butters 2 Boak Duursma Ebert Gray Marshall

Best

Melbourne Salem, Harmes, Melksham, Hibberd, Brayshaw, Oliver

Port Adelaide Westhoff, Rockliff, Gray, Boak, Burton, Ebert

Injuries

Melbourne Lewis (hamstring) replaced in selected side by Sparrow

Port Adelaide Marshall (concussion)

Reports Nil

Umpires Rosebury, Stephens, Hosking

Official crowd 38,866 at the MCG

ReportRd012019.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Social Media

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles

    ORWELLIAN by Whispering Jack

    Please permit me to begin this rather tragic pathetic preview of Melbourne’s forthcoming game against Fremantle with some personal reflections.   Two years ago, we had visitors staying with us who are all sports fans so we arranged tickets for the entire family for the Melbourne vs Fremantle game at the MCG. The Dockers were struggling at the time while the Demons were on the up and up so I was fairly confident about the outcome. Naturally, we all left the ground bitterly disappointed.   

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    PANTSED BY THE PIES by George on the Outer

    A 41 point loss to Collingwood, combined with yet another meagre output from the Melbourne forwards, saw the Demons pantsed by the Collingwood in the Queens Birthday match. For the nth week in a row, Melbourne failed to produce a score that would trouble most sides - it’s inaccuracy alone was again enough to seal the outcome. If that final score of 7.15 were 15.7, the game would have been very different. That sort of output was exactly a repeat of the previous week against Adelaide, when fo

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    TURNAROUND by KC from Casey

    It is truly amazing what a difference eight days can make in the life and times of a football club. It was a little over a week ago that the Casey Demons side were literally crushed into submission by the Werribee Tigers at Avalon Airport Oval. The losing margin in that game was not huge but the way they struggled to produce and cohesion in their play was obvious for all to see.  On Sunday at Casey Fields as part of heritage week, the team wore the Springvale FC jumper and made its own turn

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    TEN YEARS AFTER by Whispering Jack

    There are many who would argue that Melbourne’s current woes go back a full decade to their Queens Birthday engagement of 2009 when the Demons selected a young VCE student Jack Watts to make his debut on the MCG in front of what was expected to be the club’s biggest crowd for a game described as the club’s “grand final in June”. That was the way of the world for the Dean Bailey coached Demons. The critics were skeptical of Melbourne’s decision to put a wet behind the ears schoolboy (albeit

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    TOP END HEADING SOUTH by George on the Outer

    The Demons headed north for their annual game in Darwin, but the disappointing outcome could only mean they are heading south with the all too familiar failings happening again. A Sam Weideman mark and kick for goal with only 30 seconds remaining in the match could have won it for the Demons, but the kick slid sideways and the team went down by two points.  Sam may have been devastated, but the fact that the team could only kick 1 goal 8 behinds in the final quarter lays the blame at the fe

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    MAYDAY by KC from Casey

    There’s not very much that can be said of the lacklustre performance of the Casey Demons at Avalon Airfield Oval against the Werribee Tigers on Saturday other than that it was woeful. There were however, a few small rays of hope for Demon fans, the main one being the display of defender Steven May from injury and to a lesser extent, Kade Kolodjashnij’s return after two months recovering from the effects of concussion. May was in stellar form down back, taking intercept marks, disposing of t

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    POINT OF NO RETURN by the Oracle

    Conventional wisdom says that a club reaches the point of no return in the AFL competition if it has won less than four matches at the mid point of the season.  What this means for Melbourne is that in order for it to remain in the race for a top-eight position, it must start winning games now. Moreover, It's not enough to win the next game but it must also start stringing wins together to make up for its deficit in both wins and percentage.  With so much at stake there will be no excu

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    A REAL DOWNER by KC from Casey

    When Sam Weideman kicked his third goal at the midpoint of the second quarter of Casey’s game at Downer Oval , Point Gellibrand on Sunday, he put his team 26 points ahead of the goalless Seagulls. Buoyed by the return from injury of Weideman and a number of other AFL-listed Melbourne players including Jordan Lewis, Mitch Hannan, and Jay Kennedy Harris and an impressive start to Jake Lever’s second game on return from his ACL surgery, the Demons were seemingly on top of the world. Lewis and

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    ANOTHER GIANT PROBLEM by George on the Outer

    On top of its injury problems Melbourne ran into an “in-form” GWS Giants at the MCG in a game which, apart from a final quarter junk-time spree served to highlight the club’s current problems. There’s a virtually non-existent forward line; a plethora of VFL standard players, who might be getting plenty of game experience but most will simply not be up to AFL standard; an inability to kick straight and an ability to waste simple opportunities so that they mustered up only one goal in the fir

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    GIANT HEADACHE by The Oracle

    It seems so long ago that Melbourne took an unchanged line up into a game on the MCG against the Greater Western Sydney Giants and cleaned them up to the tune of 45 points.  In truth, the event occurred literally half a season ago in the final home and away round of the 2018 season and marked the Demons’ return to the finals with more triumphs to come in the weeks ahead. Of course, back then, it was the Giants who were wracked with injuries as they stumbled into the finals series facing the

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    LANDSLIDE by KC from Casey

    The Casey Demons enjoyed the better of their first half against Port Melbourne on Saturday but fell away badly after half time to lose by 43 points. The Borough enjoyed the early break with the game’s opening two goals but the Demons took control to go out to an 8 point lead at quarter time, an advantage that it held for most of the second term until a late goal to the visitors clawed the lead back to a point.  The Casey ruck of Braydon Preuss and Liam Wale-Buxton were on top for most

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles 1

    SHOULD HAVE ... COULD HAVE by George on the Outer

    West Coast finally put the nail in the Demons 2019 season coffin with a 16 point win, but it was a game that Melbourne should have, could have, but didn’t win. Once again woeful, truly woeful work in the forward line, both kicking for goal and the lazy, cheap efforts of some let the side down. A solitary goal in the final quarter and only 9 goals from 24+ scoring opportunities was the costly difference in the game. The selectors, once again, made a critical error in not selecting

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

×
×
  • Create New...